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Knots to Know

Here are three great fishing knots that go beyond the basics.

By Bill Harvey

In the summer of 1999, I hooked my first red drum on a fly. As the fish neared my reach, it made one last run - and never stopped running. The knot I had tied to secure the fly to the leader slipped and then came undone. As the old saying goes, "A chain is only as strong as its weakest link."

The same goes for fishing tackle. Here are three resilient knots that are easy to tie and highly effective for various angling situations.

Uni-Knot

The uni-knot (sometimes called a "grinner knot") is just about the perfect knot for securing lures, hooks or other tackle to your fishing line. When tied correctly, it will not slip at all and rarely fails. I routinely use the uni-knot for securing larger, saltwater flies to a leader and for lures of just about every type. Tying this knot is a breeze.

  1. Thread the tag end through the eye of the hook, swivel or lure about six inches and then fold it back to form two parallel lines. Then bring the tag end (the part of the line to which the lure is tied) back in a circle toward the eye.
  2. Make five or six turns with the tag end around the double line and through the circle. Grasp the doubled line at the point where it passes through the eye, and pull the tag to snug the turns.
  3. Pull the standing line (the part of the line fixed to the reel) to slide the knot up against the eye and pull until tight.
  4. Trim the tag end.

Blood Knot

The blood knot is a great way to connect two sections of monofilament fishing line of equal or unequal diameter. As such, it is a favorite among fishermen who create their own leaders from several sections of unequal diameter line. It has good knot strength and, when tied correctly, is quite streamlined, so it runs through the guides of a rod smoothly.

  1. Lay the sections of line you are connecting parallel to each other with about six inches of tag line overlapping in both directions.
  2. Wrap the first tag around the other standing line about five turns. Then bring the tag end back toward the first turn and slip it between the two line sections.
  3. Repeat the process with the second tag line.
  4. Grasp both tag ends and both standing lines and pull the knot until it is snug. Trim the tag.

Palomar Knot

I use the palomar knot most often for securing swivels, snaps, hooks and small artificial lures. The double-wrap nature of the knot adds resilience and strength. This easy-to-tie knot is great for beginners and children.

  1. Double the line to form a loop about three inches long. Pass the loop end through the eye of the hook.
  2. Hold the standing line between your thumb and finger, grasp the loop with the free hand and form a simple overhand knot.
  3. Here is the cool part: Pass the hook through the loop and pull the line away from the hook while slipping the loop over the eye.
  4. Pull the tag to secure the knot snugly, and trim the tag.

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